Bosh shut down for season

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:04 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Raptors have decided to shut down Chris Bosh for the remainder of the season.

Bosh had his sprained left thumb examined on Tuesday night by team physician Dr. Paul Marks and Toronto hand specialist Dr. Brent Graham.

Bosh still is experiencing tenderness at the base of the thumb, and it was recommended that he sit out the rest of the season to avoid the potential for a more serious injury to occur.

"This is the safest and most practical course of action to allow the time necessary for his injury to heal properly," said general manager Bryan Colangelo.

It is mathematically impossible for the Raptors to qualify for the playoffs and there are only seven games left in the regular season, so the loss is something the Raps can live with.

"It's still sore, I still don't have full range of motion and that would be the worse thing -- to come back and play and injury it further," Bosh said last night. "Because then people would question the coaching staff, myself and the training staff."

Bosh, who suffered the injury on March 26 in Milwaukee when he was accidentally kicked in the hand by teammate Pape Sow, is leading the team in points (22.5 per game) and rebounds (9.2) and has missed the past five games, including last night's tilt against the Indiana Pacers at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, a 111-103 loss, the team's sixth in a row.

Bosh ranks 14th and 12th in scoring and rebounding.

"It's disappointing, but I'm happy with my season," Bosh said. "Team-wise, it has been rough, a big learning curve for us, but we have to take this as a positive and continue to build."

The Raptors have failed to win without Bosh although coach Sam Mitchell hates using the injury as an excuse for his team's losing streak.

"Any team on the NBA would miss their all-star," Mitchell said. "But I give my guys credit, because without Chris, we've still had an opportunity to win every game. How many teams can say that?"

In his third season with the Raps, Bosh was named to the NBA all-star team and is expected to make the cut and play for Team USA at this summer's world basketball championship in Japan.


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